The softer side of Vegas

Las VegasWe were sitting at the bar at PF Changs and the bartender asked us if this was our first time in Vegas. That got a chuckle.

There was a time that we went to Vegas 5 or 6 times a year.  From wheels down to wheels up, we’d log about 90% of our time at the blackjack table.  We played a lot of tournaments, stayed everywhere in town and had seen every show.

Things change

We do Vegas different these days.

We stay in a dog-friendly suite, spend quite a bit of time reading at the pool, have some nice meals, maybe see a show and do a bit of gaming.

A suite deal

Kibo at the Signature at MGM Grand in Las VegasIf you’ve noticed the 3 gold towers behind the MGM Grand, that’s the Signature at MGM Grand.  The Signature has suites ranging from studios to 2 bedrooms and all have private balconies, full kitchens and large, granite baths.

The pools at the Signature are not as big as the ones at the large resorts but quiet, with few people – a perfect destination for reading and relaxing.

We rent through Rental By Owner Direct at the Signature – they have always taken good care of us and are the source for dog-friendly suites on the strip.

Rock on

Kevin Cronin & REO Speedwagon, Vegas, May 2012Within hours of arriving we were at the REO Speedwagon & Styx concert at Planet Hollywood.

Tommy Shaw & Styx and Kevin Cronin & REO are still in top form and bring great performances.

The audience was a bid subdued and, with the exception of  those down front, most appeared to have decided which show they wanted to attend that night about 4 in the afternoon. Most of them stayed seated the whole time.

This compares to midwest, and more recently Red Rocks experiences, where the audiences come to rock and generally, there’s a little glaucoma treatment in the air.

Dining & whining

We hit up our favorite restaurants including the patio at Mon Ami Gabi at Paris and Seablue at the MGM.  Dining in Vegas brings new meaning to people watching, not to mention to entertainment of some of the conversations overheard.  Combine that with the fact that it was a fight night when we were at Seablue and, well, wow.

There seems to be quite a few people who think “what happens in Vegas” is a reality versus a marketing tagline.

Have fun, but do the math. Craps & blackjack offer the house the least advantage (.6% & .8%), slots are in the middle (3%-7%), roulette is bad (5%) and never play keno (house edge 25%).

It’s been said about a million times, but really, you know those massive, extravagant casinos didn’t get built on their dollar. Walking by table after $25, $50 & $100 tables, packed full…well, we know what stayed in Vegas.